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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Dog Bite/Attack?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 17th August 2023. If you have been hurt by a bite from a dog belonging to another party, you may be entitled to claim compensation. In this guide, we are going to explain how dog bite claims work. We’ll also discuss the eligibility requirements to start this type of claim.

Dog Bite Claim

Dog Bite Claim

Dog bite claims are something our personal injury solicitors have many years of experience in handling. Therefore, if you have strong grounds to make a dog attack claim, one of our solicitors may be able to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. For more information on how to claim, please read on.

To see if you could make a dog bite compensation claim, please get in touch today for a consultation with free legal advice. You can call us on 0800 073 8804 or contact us online by filling in our form or by using our 24/7 live chat service.

Select a Section

  1. Top tips for proving a dog bite claim
  2. How To Begin A Dog Bite Claim
  3. Who do you claim against when involved in a dog bite or attack?
  4. What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?
  5. What can be claimed for after a dog bite/attack?
  6. The most common dog bites or attacks
  7. Dog Bite Compensation – Dog Bite Claim Calculator
  8. No Win No Fee dog bite/attack claims
  9. Dog Bite Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  10. Useful links

Top tips for proving a dog bite claim

A dog bite or attack injury is any type of personal injury due to an aggressive dog. So long as the incident was not your fault, i.e. you were not provoking the dog in any manner, you may be able to claim compensation.

Whether your dog has bitten someone, or someone else’s dog has bitten you, evidence will need to be gathered to show that the person has suffered the dog attack injury as a result of negligence.

For example, the dog owner may be responsible. If you have been injured due to a dog bite, compensation being awarded to you can depend on whether or not you can prove your injury was caused by negligence.

Some examples of useful evidence could include:

  • Visual evidence – Photographs of your injuries could come in very useful not only in proving that your injuries were sustained, but also how severe they were. CCTV footage and other video evidence may also have captured the incident.
  • Witness details – Others may have seen the incident as it occurred. They could help back up your claim if you ask for their contact details and a solicitor can collect an official statement on the subject of what they saw.
  • Medical records – Important information such as how severe your injuries were and the date they were sustained could be contained in these official documents.

Get in touch today if you have any further questions about proving a dog bite injury claim.

How To Begin A Dog Bite Claim

As discussed in the previous section, in order to make a dog bite compensation claim, evidence is key. But what is also important is seeking the right legal advice. On some occasions claiming compensation for a dog bite may not always be straightforward, it may be difficult to know who to claim against and how to collect the evidence you need to prove your claim for a dog bite. 

Solicitors who have dealt with dog bite claims in the past will have the experience and knowledge on how to correctly file your claim. Apart from knowing who to direct the claim against, they will gather and seek the right evidence to support your claim, arrange any medical appointment that you need to attend to have your injuries assessed and also, if the case goes to court, the solicitor can represent you here.

To find out whether one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could provide you with their service inorder to claim compensation for the dog bite, please call our advisors now for free advice.

Time Limit for Claiming Dog Bite Compensation

For most personal injury claims, including those for dog bite compensation, the standard time limit is 3 years from the date of the incident.

Exceptions can also be made to this time limit when the claimant cannot claim for themselves. For example, a child under 18 cannot legally claim until they come of age. In such cases, the time limit wouldn’t come into effect until the victim’s 18th birthday.

A time limit also usually doesn’t apply if the potential claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf.

If a victim is unable to start a claim on their own, then someone close to the victim may be able to start a claim on their behalf. In such cases, the representative for the victim is known formally as a litigation friend.

I was bitten by a banned breed of dog – Can I claim compensation?

If a banned breed of dog has bitten you, you may have strong grounds to claim for compensation. Not only is the owner breaking the law by owning the dog in question, but also they have then been negligent by enabling the dog to cause harm to another person.

We have plenty of experience in handling such cases and we always strive to secure the maximum dog bite compensation.

I got bit by a stray dog can I claim compensation?

Claiming compensation for a stray dog attack can be more difficult. There are ways you can go about trying to find the owner. If you have been unable to do so, you may have grounds to claim against the council or anyone responsible for the area in which you were bit, be it a business park or a local housing estate.

The best thing to do is to call us. That way, we can better understand your dog bite compensation claim and advise you correctly.

My child was attacked by a dog can we claim compensation?

If a dog has attacked your child, you may be entitled to claim dog bite child compensation on their behalf. However, if you don’t proceed with a dog bite compensation claim, your child will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to do so themselves.

Who do you claim against when involved in a dog bite or attack?

In most cases, you will claim compensation from the owner of the dog. After all, the dog is their responsibility. However, there are some exceptions, i.e. cases whereby someone else is to blame for the incident. A good example of this is workplace dog attack claims.

If you work in an environment and you have regular interactions with dogs, and the necessary precautions for your health and safety have not been taken, you could have grounds for a claim against your employer.

What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced due to several incidents involving uncontrolled and aggressive dogs. This act involved banning the four breeds of dogs mentioned above. It also banned the breeding, exchange, and sale of these dogs.

Aside from this, it enforced all dog owners to register, insure, neuter, tattoo, and microchip their dogs.

There are several other laws in place regarding keeping and controlling dogs. A dog owner has a legal responsibility to keep their dog under control. They must register their dog, ensure it does not create public nuisance, and they’re responsible if their dog attacks another person.

What can be claimed for after a dog bite/attack?

Dog bite compensation payouts cover the following:

  • General damages – This covers the pain and suffering you have experienced
  • Medical bills
  • Travel expenses
  • Claim for loss of earnings
  • Care claim – If you have required home assistance to recover, the person that has cared for you can claim.

The most common dog bites or attacks

The most common injuries that occur due to dog bites or attacks include cuts, wounds, scars, and similar injuries. The severity of the injury will differ depending on the attack. But in many cases, plastic surgery may be necessary to smooth out the scar so that it’s less noticeable.

Dog bites could also cause an infection. Symptoms of this may include:

  • Red streaks that extend along the skin from the wound
  • Swollen glands in the neck, groin, armpit, or under the chin
  • Chills and sweats
  • A fever of 38C or above
  • Pus or liquid leaks from the wound
  • The wound feels increasingly painful and warm
  • Swelling and redness around the wound

If you think the wound leaves you infectious, it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible.

Can You Sue For A Minor Dog Bite In The UK?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in the UK, you may be able to pursue a civil claim. As we’ve already mentioned, there are criteria for making a dog bite claim, and these criteria do not change for minor dog bites.

Dog owners are legally responsible for controlling their dogs; if they fail to do so, and this results in any kind of injury, including minor injuries, then you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Our advisors are on hand to help if you have any questions, such as “Can you sue for a minor dog bite in the UK?” and “How much compensation could I claim for a dog bite in the UK?” Our team can also offer a free evaluation of your claim, and if it is valid, they may connect you with one of our expert solicitors. Get in touch today to learn more.

Dog Bite Compensation – Dog Bite Claim Calculator

Following a successful personal injury claim for a dog bite, your compensation settlement could include general and special damages. General damages aim to compensate you for the pain and suffering that your injury has caused you. When trying to find out how much compensation you could receive for a dog bite, a claim calculator might be able to help. The calculator asks you a variety of questions about your accident and the injury you suffered to help provide you with a compensation estimation.

Alternatively, you could refer to the table that we have created below. The figures listed have been taken from the most recent edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published in April 2022. Many legal experts will use the JCG to help them value claims. This is because the JCG lists compensation brackets for various mental and physical injuries.

Please only use this table as a guide. How much compensation you could receive could be affected by the factors of your claim and could therefore differ from the amounts listed below.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - SevereAll aspects of the person's life are negatively effected and they will suffer with permanent issues.£59,860 to £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Moderately SevereA better prognosis with room for recovery with some help from a professional. However, they are still likely to suffer with significant issues.£23,150 to £59,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - ModerateThe person will have made a significant recovery with any persisting effects not being grossly disabling.£8,180 to £23,150
Facial disfigurement – Very severe scarringFor such cases, the psychological reaction will be severe, and the cosmetic impact will be very disfiguring. Applicable to younger claimants in their teens to early 30s.£29,780 to £97,330
Facial disfigurement – Less severe scarring A substantial facial disfigurement with a significant psychological reaction.£17,960 to £48,420
Facial disfigurement - Less significant scarringDespite plastic surgery reducing the worst of the effects, there will still be a slight cosmetic disability.£3,950 to £13,740
Hand Injury - Loss of thumbThe thumb has been lost.£35,520 to £54,830
Hand Injury - Severe fractures to fingersThe fingers may require partial amputations and may also result in a deformity.Up to £36,740
Scarring to other parts of the bodyA number of noticeable laceration scars or a singular scar to the hands, legs, arms, back or chest.£7,830 to £22,730
Scarring to other parts of the bodyA singular noticeable scar to the arms, legs, or hands. Or several superficial scars.£2,370 to £7,830

Additionally, any financial losses you have suffered due to your dog attack injury could be compensated with special damages. Some of the losses that special damages could compensate you include:

Providing evidence of these financial losses could help support your claim for special damages, such as bank statements or invoices.

Contact our advisors today to receive free legal advice regarding your specific claim. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Dog Bite Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you are eligible to make a dog bite compensation claim, then you could look at getting legal representation from a solicitor who has experience with this type of claim. If you speak to our advisors and they find that you have a valid claim, they could connect you with one of our experienced solicitors.

One of our solicitors may offer to represent your claim on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you won’t need to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be obligated to pay for your solicitor’s services.

If your claim is successful, a success fee will be taken from the dog attack injury compensation awarded to you. It’s a legally capped percentage of your compensation that’s taken by the solicitor that’s supporting your case.

Contact our advisors today if you still have any questions regarding dog bite claims. Our team is available 24/7 to help answer your questions and offer free advice.

You can contact our advisors by:

Useful links

Government website on controlling your dog in public

This link takes you to the UK Government’s guide on controlling your dog in public. It provides useful information on banned dogs, Public Spaces Protection Orders, dog fouling, and reporting a dog.

Government website on dangerous dog law changes

This link is useful, as it takes you to a press release that explains the changes in the law regarding dangerous dogs. In 2013, the law would change to cover dog attacks on private properties. You can find more information here.

NHS On Dog Bites

This link takes you to the human, animal, and dog bite NHS page. It explains what to do after a bite, getting medical advice/treatment, infection symptoms, common causes and avoiding bites.

Report a stray dog

If you want to report a stray dog, use this link to do so. You can use the search function to find a postcode to contact the dog’s owner. If you do not know the dog’s owner, you need to contact your local council.

Legislation Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

This link provides you with plenty of information regarding the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This includes information on the effect of the Act, the index of exempted dogs, comparable legislation elsewhere, and much more.

Other Personal Injury Claims Guides

If you would like to speak to an advisor about dog bite claims for compensation, you are welcome to contact the Legal Expert advisors.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.